Learning More About Being A Wildland Firefighter
Over the past few years, a handful of documentaries have been produced on the subject of wildland fire. Viewing these programs may help. Many universities and community colleges have courses, and a few offer degrees, in wildland fire science. A meeting with an advisor or faculty member could be a good way to learn about the field.
Get online and see what's available. Here are a list of documentaries/publications you may want to search for:
You may find some of the links on our Veterans Links page to be helpful. A trip to the library might be useful, too.
- "Fire Wars" (episode of Nova; 2002)
- Red Skies of Montana (1952)
- Smoke Jumpers (AKA In the Line of Duty: Smoke Jumpers; 1996)
- Firestorm: Last Stand at Yellowstone (TV; 2006)
- Trial by Fire (AKA Smoke Jumper; 2008)
After you've done some reading about wildland firefighting, a good second step would be to make an appointment and visit a unit that hires, trains, and puts crews to work. The U.S. Forest Service employs firefighters in much of the country, as do many Bureau of Land Management, National Park Service, Fish and Wildlife Service, and tribal entities. Get in contact with the fire management officer at these places, share your story, and ask for a tour of the unit's facilities.